- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 edition (August 8, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374113432
- ISBN-13: 978-0374113438
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine Paperback – August 8, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
This often mind-stretching, occasionally predictable and generally entertaining collection of articles from Bitch magazine has something for every feminist, postfeminist and reactionary. Bitch was founded in 1996 in response to "post-feminism" by "freshly minted liberal arts graduates with crappy day jobs and a serious media jones." With refreshing depth, literacy and humor, these essays explore questions surrounding puberty, gender identity, sex, "domestic arrangements," beauty, pop culture and mainstream media, and media literacy/activism. Tammy Oler examines menarche and female puberty in horror films; Gaby Moss analyzes the media's obsession with "mean girls"; and Lisa Jervis gives a rundown of sex scenes and pride in YA lesbian novels. Leigh Shoemaker puts down Camille Paglia's contention that males are superior due to their urinary "arc of transcendence" by evoking the Virgin Mary's breasts squirting milk through the air into Jesus' mouth. Audry Bilger protests the use of "guys" as gender neutral. Conspicuously absent is any discussion of women and aging. Maybe we'll just have to wait for Bitch's 20th anniversary, when its editors will be pushing 50. (Aug. 15)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Whenever anyone has called me a bitch, I have taken it as a compliment," writes comedian Margaret Cho in the foreword to this anthology from the self-proclaimed Queen Bee of Grrrl Zines. Positioned as an antidote to the patronizing pages of Cosmopolitan and Vogue, Bitch revels in its power to provoke as it ponders the landscape of popular culture from a feminist perspective. In honor of the magazine's tenth anniversary, founding editors Jervis and Zeisler have amassed essays (including some specifically commissioned for the collection) on a bounty of brazen topics, from the ramifications of sexual abuse and rape to the lesbian tendencies of Japanese macaques. Its writers are no wallflowers: Leigh Shoemaker's "stand-up" discussion of female urination, for example, adds new meaning to the expression, "Looking out for #1." From transsexuality to body image to gender-bending "slash fiction" that amorously pairs the likes of Captain Kirk and Spock, there's plenty here to amuse and enlighten the target audience--and plenty to rattle the cages of card-carrying macho men and women who might find the racy rants a bit over the top. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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For me as an aspiring feminist it was an eye-opening adventure, an informative and elevating journey to the wildly interesting contradictions of America's global export product – pop culture; and a chance to examine the legacy of the women's liberation movement from an inside perspective. The great thing is the book features texts formerly presented in the Bitch magazine and as such it retains the dates of publication-which allows the reader to validate universality as well as timelessness of collected essays.
For me as a Polish national living in a relatively small, homogenous, and undereducated (and not much socially aware) society I would argue that this collection is extremely important, as it is a guide to contemporary global (well, U.S.A.-centric pop version) feminist and queer issues and, I believe, a valuable addition to a Polish feminism, which is of different foundation and route than the American feminisms but its goals are generally quite relatable (I make a broad swipe here because we have society which is mostly white, unlike the American society).
This was my first feminist read and I feel it sets the direction for me quite well.
BITCHfest is fun and provides a broad range of articles on topics that are relevant to wide range of readers of all ages and life experiences.